In yesterday’s post, we posed the question of what might happen if we were to lower or even eliminate the impedance inherent in the AC power wires feeding our home.
The answer is simple. Dramatically better sound.
Something we all want!
But, how best to eliminate or significantly lower the impedance of hundreds (often thousands) of feet of connecting power cables shared by our neighbors?
Traditionally, lowering impedance inherent in wire can be handled in two ways: shortening its length and/or increasing its thickness.
Increasing wire thickness from the standard of 14 gauge copper, which is about 0.06″ thick, to something ridiculously heavier like 0 gauge wire, which is nearly ten times the thickness (times 3 conductors), would help but wouldn’t solve it. Only thickening and shortening the wire to mere feet would get the total impedance where we would want it, to perhaps 0.01Ω or lower.
The problems with taking these steps would be one of practicality (or the lack thereof). Let’s start with thickening the wire. 3-conductor 0 gauge wire is about 1.5″ thick and weighs in at about 1.5 lbs per foot. That’s going to be a bear to install in the walls (never mind the impracticality of typing that wire into an AC receptacle). But, let’s say we managed all that copper. We still need to shorten it to mere feet. To do that we’d have to move our home next to a noisy, stinky, coal-fired power generating station.
We might get some spousal pushback.
Fortunately, there is an alternative. A power amplifier.
Let’s back up a moment.
If you want to power a pair of loudspeakers you won’t get very far connecting the output of your preamplifier to them. Preamps can’t drive speakers because their output impedance is too high.
To lower a preamplifiers output impedance you need to add energy, something a power amplifier is very good at.
Power amplifiers have high input impedance and low output impedance.
Does this sound like something that might interest us in our quest to reduce the impedance of the power line from high to low?